“Lately” is a song by Stevie Wonder recorded for his nineteenth album ‘Hotter than July’ (1980). The recording sessions were primarily done at Wonderland Studios in Los Angeles (which Wonder had recently acquired).
This song’s powerful emotional strength is largely because of evocative lyrics such as “far more frequently you’re wearing perfume with you say no special place to go”, “just the other night while you were sleeping I vaguely heard you whisper someone’s name” and “what I really feel my eyes won’t let me hide, ‘cause they always start to cry.”
But, as usual, the music is also pretty powerful, especially the key change after the deceptive cadence just before the last chorus. And, really especially when sung with Stevie’s incomparable vocals!
For this song Stevie Wonder must have had a lot of fun – being not only responsible for vocals but also synthesizer, drums, Fender Rhodes, bass guitar, clavinet, background vocals, ARP, vocoder, piano, harpsichord, celeste, keyboards, harmonica, cabasa, percussion, bells, handclaps, flute!
This performance is dedicated to Stevie.
Please enjoy my humble piano version.
Bosendorfer piano sound – For this recording I’m playing a Yamaha Clavinova – which has the same keyboard action as a traditional acoustic piano, but there are no strings. Pressing a key activates (in this case) a sound which was sampled from a Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. Try listening to it with a good set of headphones! It sounds better than any piano I’ve ever owned!!
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